Tuesday, August 31, 2010

august statistics

Red Hook Road (Ayelet Waldman), Theodore Boone: Kid Lawyer (John Grisham), Friends in High Places (Donna Leon), Mockingjay (Suzanne Collins)

Mockingjay (Suzanne Collins), Packing for Mars (Mary Roach), Hangover Square (Patrick Hamilton)

On my radar
The Island (Elin Hildenbrand), The Snack Thief (Andrea Camilleri), A Visit from the Goon Squad (Jennifer Egan)

Wednesday, August 04, 2010

at the moment

~trying to finish up John Grisham's novel for middle readers, Theodore Boone: Kid Lawyer. Theo is hard not to like. He's passionate about the law (both parents are lawyers; one of his best friends is a judge) and hopes to practice one day. In the meantime, he dispenses legal advice (“I don’t take money”) whenever his peers solicit it. The novel hinges on his interest in a high-profile murder trial. The defendant, Mr. Duffy, stands accused of murdering his wife. The defendant seems guilty, but all the evidence is circumstantial. No doubt, Theo Boone will find that key piece of evidence that neither lawyer nor investigators have been able to dredge up. So far, it’s enjoyable read—quick and compelling with explanations of legal terms and processes.

~starting Frederick Reiken’s third novel, Day for Night, which is exactly the book I was looking for. After completing Red Hook Road, nothing I picked up felt right. Actually, the novels I started, including Allegra Goodman’s Cookbook Collector, all had the same feel when I was hoping to find something fresh. Day for Night first came to my attention on Facebook, where some bookseller friends raved their early reads. Then my friend Suzanne, whose personal library resembles mine, recommended it as one of the most unique novels she had read recently. Plus, it got good industry buzz as one of the books from Reagan Arthur’s inaugural list at Little, Brown. So I checked it out and quickly came to my last three-week renewal. To my surprise, there’s no waiting list in the St. Paul Public Library system. People, that status has to change—read this book. Until I find an adequate way to talk about the book without giving away the plot, suffice to say the novel has linked stories. But not really stories, rather chapters with shifting points of view—because there is one story running through the disparate parts. I hope I’m not ruining it. Reiken is an insanely talented writer.  

~contemplating dipping into another book. Contenders include Color: A Natural History by Victoria Finley, which is on my 42 list, or an armchair mystery, such as Donna Leon’s Friends in High Places, or a high-brow beach read, such as Elin Hildebrand’s Castaways. Thoughts?